Tony Brunenkant ’22 — First, I would first like to thank the Coons Fund for allowing me to take on an opportunity that I would be unable to do otherwise. What the Coons Fund has done for me has not only allowed me to gain valuable experience as a college student, but it has also offered me the chance to learn more about my personal interests and values as an individual and as a professional. As a Political Science major with Foreign Service being a goal of mine, the Coons Fund has provided the next step necessary in the direction of achieving those goals.

I have been interning at the Colibrí Center for Human Rights since May of this summer. Founded in 2013, Colibrí aims to help families find the right answers to the cases of missing and unidentified individuals that have attempted to cross the southern US borderlands. My job, along with other interns from around the country, is to find the right ways to tell the stories of those lost loved ones. As an outright advocate for the rights of migrants, my cohort and I have focused Colibrí’s voice on remembering the lives lost in the extreme weather of the Sonoran Desert paired with a public education campaign on the root causes of the sporadic surges of migration the United States has recently experienced. For me, this has included attending colloquiums, researching the history of US intervention in Latin America and caravan migration from the Northern Triangle, and studying migrant death maps. A project that I have been working on with a fellow intern has been a 3-part series entitled, “The Things They Carried”, which was concentrated on the actual items that were carried on journeys throughout the borderlands.

This internship has exposed me to what I did not know was out there, which I am grateful for. The little community that was made within my cohort was fun to be in, where I learned from other college students and their different perspectives. Thank you again to Wabash and the Coons Fund.